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Student Finance

Scholarships for UK students from ethnic minorities

There are loads of scholarships aimed at students from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK. Here are some great examples.

ethnic minority student in front of books

Credit: (Background) Chinnapong, (Foreground) CarlosDavid – Shutterstock

Scholarships for students from ethnic minorities offer financial support throughout uni. This might be in the form of a tuition fee waiver, a grant to help with living costs or a combination of both.

Some organisations refer to these scholarships as being for 'BME' (Black and Minority Ethnic) or 'BAME' students (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic).

On the whole, the scholarships below are for students from all ethnic minorities (unless otherwise stated). And, unlike Student Loans, these don't need to be repaid.

But, this isn't an exhaustive list of all scholarships available to ethnic minority students in the UK. So, if none of these apply to you, don't be put off. This is just to give you an idea of what's out there.

We've also got a guide on other sources of bursaries and scholarships which you might not have tried yet.

Ethnic minority scholarships, grants and bursaries

piggy bank with glasses

Credit: TierneyMJ – Shutterstock

Whether the award is a 'grant', 'bursary', or 'scholarship', it's always non-repayable.

Bursaries and scholarships are generally funded by unis, companies, charities or individuals. Student grants, on the other hand, tend to come from the government. But this isn't always the case.

In this guide, 'grant' is used to refer generally to funding that isn't repayable. None of the awards below are government-funded.

We're using the terms fairly interchangeably here. All you need to remember is none of these will need to be repaid.

Not studying full-time? We've also got info on part-time Student Finance.

Amos Bursary

The Amos Bursary consists of two different awards. There's the actual Amos Bursary and the King's College & UCL Scholarships.

Amos Bursary

To be eligible: Students need to be of African and Caribbean descent, in Year 12 and applying to university. It's open to those who have spent their whole secondary education in a state school or college in Greater London or the West Midlands.

Award amount: This offers financial support for students throughout their time at uni and post-graduation.

More information »


King's College & UCL

To be eligible: Students need to be of African and Caribbean descent, in Year 13 or on a gap year. It's open to those who apply to King's College London or University College London.

Award amount: The award provides financial support of £1,000 per year for the course duration. Students are also supported post-graduation.

More information »


Bank of England Black Future Leaders Sponsorship Programme

The Bank of England has a scholarship including a summer internship. It's perfect for those who want to gain experience working in the world of finance.

To be eligible: Students need to be in their first or last year at university. And they should be of a Black or mixed background. Also, they should have a household income of less than £50,778 per year.

Award amount: The award is worth at least £5,000 for one academic year of study. It's intended to cover living expenses and other study-related costs. It also includes a 6–8 week paid internship with the Bank of England during the summer.

More information »


Black Academic Futures – University of Oxford

The University of Oxford awards 50 scholarships to students from Black or mixed backgrounds. This is under their Academic Futures programme. It aims to address under-representation and help improve equality.

To be eligible: Students must be from a Black or mixed background and ordinarily reside in the UK. They should hold an offer for a taught or research postgraduate degree at the University of Oxford. This includes full-time and part-time DPhil and master's courses.

Award amount: 50 students will get their course fees covered plus a grant for living costs.

More information »


Black Bristol Scholarship Programme – University of Bristol

The University of Bristol has multiple scholarships available, including:

Access Postgraduate scheme

To be eligible: Applicants need to be from an underrepresented background. They must be in their final year of undergraduate study at the University of Bristol. And, they need to be eligible to pay Home fees and complete the Access Postgraduate Scheme.

Award amount: 10 students will get a fee waiver of up to £5,000 towards postgraduate tuition fees. There are also 20 non-funded places where students get access to mentor schemes and skills development sessions.

More information »


Black Bristol PGCE Scholarships

To be eligible: Applicants should be from a Black or mixed background. They must hold an offer to study on a PGCE or GITEP programme, be UK residents and be eligible to pay Home fees.

Award amount: There are four scholarships of £5,000.

More information »


Black Futures Scholarship

To be eligible: Students must be UK applicants for a full-time undergraduate degree. They should hold an offer (or be awaiting a decision) to study at the University of Bristol. Also, they need to be from a Black or mixed background. They should be able to demonstrate financial need too.

Award amount: Up to 20 awards of £3,500, with an additional £1,000 available for employability opportunities.

More information »


MA Black Humanities Scholarship for teachers

To be eligible: Students should be from a Black or mixed background to apply for this scholarship. They should have Qualified Teacher Status and be currently employed in a UK school. They also need to have applied for the MA Black Humanities programme and be eligible for Home fees.

Award amount: Two scholarships covering all fees for the programme.

More information »


Opportunity Bristol

To be eligible: Applicants must be UK nationals with Home fee status and have a Black or mixed background. Students also must have applied for one of the following research-related master's programmes at the University of Bristol:

  • All MRes, MPhil and MScR programmes
  • MPhil Master of Philosophy
  • MScR Master of Science by Research
  • MSc Climate Change Science & Policy
  • MSc Environmental Policy Management
  • MSc Environmental Modelling and Data Analysis
  • MSc Geographical Data Science and Spatial Analytics
  • MSc Global Development and Environment
  • MSc Human Geography
  • MSc Medical Statistics and Health Data Science
  • MSc Paleobiology
  • MSc Socio-Legal Studies

Award amount: Up to six scholarships are available, covering Home tuition fees, a student stipend and a contribution to research, travel and conference costs of £1,000.

More information »


The Black Heart Scholars Programme – The Black Heart Foundation

Several scholarships are available to students at all stages of higher education. The funding can help students with the costs of a classroom-based degree or with the costs of experiential education (e.g. research or fieldwork). Awards are for students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, and as such are not solely focused on ethnic background.

To be eligible: Applicants should present a clear case of financial need. The programme supports candidates undertaking studies primarily in the UK or in the USA. But, the Foundation is open to considering other locations.

Award amount: The amount awarded will be based on a case-by-case basis. It may cover tuition fees, living expenses and other education-related costs.

More information »


Claire Prosser Bursary, Journalism Diversity Fund – National Council for the Training of Journalists

The Claire Prosser bursary is awarded each year to an applicant who wishes to pursue a career in broadcast or digital journalism.

The scholarship is not exclusively focused on ethnic backgrounds. But, it's open to all applicants whose social class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or other individual circumstance (e.g. they spent their childhood in foster care or are a single parent) is underrepresented in newsrooms in the UK.

To be eligible: Applicants must have secured a place on a postgraduate NCTJ-accredited course. They should also be British citizens residing in the UK. And, they need to have a range of journalism-related work experience. They shouldn't be in receipt of any other bursary awards.

Award amount: The award includes £5,000 and a work experience opportunity with BBC News and  Press Association.

More information »


Diversity100 PhD Studentships – Birkbeck, University of London

The University of Birkbeck is offering five studentships. These are for PhD students to undertake academic research in any discipline.

To be eligible: Applicants should be new PhD students or current Birkbeck PhD students who have at least 50% of their research remaining. They should be from ethnic minorities. Also, they need to ordinarily reside in the UK and be eligible for domestic student status.

Award amount: Awards offer financial support for tuition fees and provide a tax-free stipend for living expenses for up to three years full-time, or five years part-time.

More information »


Dr Ateh Jewel Foundation Awards – University of Oxford

This scholarship supports three students who can study any discipline at the University of Oxford.

To be eligible: Applicants must be new students studying at the undergraduate level. They must be ordinarily resident in the UK and be eligible for domestic student status. Also, they should be of Black African or Caribbean heritage including applicants of mixed race.

Award amount: The award is worth £3,300.

More information »


Frank Olufemi Akindolie Medical Scholarship

This is a privately funded scholarship aimed at supporting UK medical students from ethnic minorities. In exceptional circumstances, more than one scholarship award may be made.

To be eligible: Applicants should be full-time students from ethnic minorities who are already studying at a UK medical school. Students currently at secondary school who are either still considering a career in medicine or holding an offer to start medical school in the future are not eligible to apply.

They must also share evidence of giving back to society through volunteer work.

Award amount: The award is worth £1,500. It also includes a one-year-long mentorship.

More information »

Geospatial Student Accelerator Scheme – Esri UK & Akama Fund

This scheme supports up to 60 individuals studying geography, archaeology, landscape architecture, biology, and earth & environmental studies (or related courses).

To be eligible: Students need to have a Black or mixed Black heritage and have a household income of less than £50,000 (which they can share evidence of as part of the application process).

Award amount: There are two awards available. 10 students will receive the full award of around £2,500, while 50 more will get £300 to purchase items needed for fieldwork.

They'll also receive development support through workshops, Esri UK’s mentorship network, networking opportunities and other professional resources.

More information »


Law Society Diversity Access Scheme

The Law Society Diversity Access Scheme supports several people every year. The funding is for students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who want to become solicitors.

To be eligible: Applicants must not have access to financial gifts or family loans. They must reside in England or Wales and plan to stay there while studying. Also, they shouldn't have more than £5,000 in savings. They must also meet two or more of the following criteria:

  • Have attended a non-fee paying school
  • Are the first generation of their family to go to uni
  • Were eligible for free school meals at school.

Students who don't meet these criteria may still be eligible if they've faced exceptional circumstances to pursue their studies, such as due to race, sexuality, religion, disability, ongoing health issues or other personal circumstances.

Award amount: The award includes a bursary to fund the LPC or SQE, work experience and mentoring support.

More information »


The Lord Blunkett Widening Access Awards – University of Law

The Lord Blunkett Widening Access Awards aren't exclusively focused on applicants' ethnic backgrounds. They're offered to "students whose backgrounds are under-represented in Higher Education" with the intent of promoting greater diversity in the workplace.

To be eligible: Applicants should have received an offer for a place at an undergraduate degree at the University of Law. They must also take an online assessment and receive the highest score. Lastly, they must also show evidence of either of the following:

  • Experience within care
  • Family estrangement
  • Refugee status
  • Being a carer for a parent or sibling
  • Disability
  • A low income

Award amount: Various awards worth £1,000.

More information »


BME Music Scholar's Fee Waiver – Goldsmiths University of London

This award aims to support one student from an ethnic minority who intends to progress through postgraduate study and into an academic research position in music.

To be eligible: Applicants should be from ethnic minorities and hold domestic student status.

Award amount: The successful applicant will be awarded a full tuition fee waiver.

More information »


The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship

These scholarships are provided by the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation and are available to full-time students at all levels of higher education.

To be eligible: Applicants should be new students from an ethnic minority. It's open to those who are starting a full-time course at any level of higher education, in one of these fields of study:

  • Law
  • Finance
  • Business
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Politics
  • Charity
  • Environmental, Social and Governance
  • Human Rights
  • Disability and Neurodiversity
  • Automotive (for women)
  • Multi-sector disciplines
  • Any other industry encouraging Black and mixed-race female leadership in the UK.

Award amount: The award will cover costs related to education. Successful applicants will have the chance to be mentored by leaders in their respective fields and gain work experience.

More information »


Open Futures Scholarships for Black Students – Open University

The Open University offers several scholarships for students from ethnic minorities. They're for students who are studying any discipline at an undergraduate level.

To be eligible: Applicants should identify as being from a Black background with a household income of no more than £25,000 a year. They need to be UK residents and be eligible for domestic student status.

Applicants should also be new undergraduate students who don't already hold a higher education qualification. They must be studying at least 30 credits per academic year.

Award amount: There are 50 awards covering the full tuition cost of your qualification and a £500 study cost grant.

More information »


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Research Opportunity Scholarship – University College London

University College London (UCL) offers this scholarship in partnership with the Windsor Fellowship. It supports postgraduate students from ethnic minorities studying a research degree in selected academic disciplines.

To be eligible: Candidates should be permanent UK residents eligible for domestic student status. They also need to be from one of the following backgrounds:

  • Black (Black British, Black Caribbean, Black African or other Black background)
  • Pakistani (or Pakistani British)
  • Bangladeshi (or Bangladeshi British).

Award amount: The award covers tuition fees. It includes a stipend for living expenses plus an additional grant for research costs of up to £1,200 per year and a one-off conference cost of £1,000. The award also includes a personal and professional development support package.

More information »


Royal College of Music Scholarships for Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse Students

Three scholarships are awarded to students from ethnic minorities by the Royal College of Music (RCM) every year.

To be eligible: Students must be from an ethnic minority. They need to be UK nationals and eligible to pay domestic student fees. They should be applying for the Bachelor of Music course and attending an audition or interview during the college's main London audition period.

Award amount: Awards are worth up to the value of full fees for each year of the course and can be used either to cover tuition fees or to help with living costs.

More information »


Sarah Parker Remond Psychology Award – Royal Holloway, University of London

Two scholarships are available for students studying a single honours Psychology degree.

To be eligible: Students have to be from a Black African, Black Caribbean, Black Other or mixed background. They should be eligible for home fee status. Students must also hold an offer for a Psychology degree.

Award amount: Both scholarships are worth £3,000 paid over three years.

More information »


SJM Concerts Futures Scholarship – Manchester Metropolitan University

The SMJ Concerts scholarship helps students over three years while studying at Manchester Metropolitan University.

To be eligible: Students must be from a Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic background. They need to have a UK Student Support Number and demonstrate financial need. They must also be enrolled on the first year of one of the following degree programmes:

  • LLB (Hons)
  • BA (Hons) Business Management
  • BA (Hons) Business Management with Law
  • BA (Hons) Events Management
  • BA (Hons) Music and Sound Design.

Award amount: The scholarship awards £1,200 per year for up to three years.

More information »


Stormzy Scholarship for Black UK students – University of Cambridge

The much-acclaimed Stormzy scholarship provides support for a number of Black students to attend Cambridge to pursue an undergraduate degree in a discipline of their choice.

To be eligible: Candidates must have a confirmed place at Cambridge to study for their first undergraduate degree. They need to be eligible for full financial support from Student Finance for both a Tuition Fees Loan and a Maintenance Loan. And, they should be from one of the following ethnicities:

  • Black African
  • Black Caribbean
  • Black Other
  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • Any other mixed Black background.

Award amount: Successful applicants will get £20,000 per year of undergraduate study to cover tuition fees and help with living costs.

More information »


Toledo Scholarships – National Film and Television School

The NFTS awards scholarships annually to ethnic minority students who wish to enrol on an NFTS master's programme.

To be eligible: Applicants should be from an ethnic minority. They need to be UK permanent residents and be eligible for domestic student status.

Award amount: Amount varies per successful applicant.

More information »


If you're planning to apply for Student Finance, this is how much Maintenance Loan you could get.

The Walcot Foundation

This grant supports individuals living in the borough of Lambeth, London, who wish to increase their income through university or higher education. They're available to everyone including those from ethnic backgrounds.

To be eligible: Applicants should live in Lambeth and have lived in the borough for at least one year. They need to be from a low-income household and be able to show evidence.

Award amount: Award amounts vary depending on the chosen degree or qualification.

More information »


PhD Scholarship - York Graduate Research School

Six completely funded PhD scholarships are open to those from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic groups at York Graduate Research School.

To be eligible: Applicants should be eligible to pay Home fees and also have a 'BAME' background (Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic).

Award amount: The awards provide support with tuition fees, mentorship, a tax-free stipend of over £18,600 per year and between £2,000 – £5,000 a year in research training support grants.

More information »


Black British Researchers Scholarship - University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham offers up to 12 PhD scholarships to support gifted students from ethnic backgrounds with their academic goals.

To be eligible: Students must have a Black or mixed background and not already studying a PhD course at the University of Birmingham. They also need to be eligible to pay Home fees.

Award amount: Successful students will receive around £19,200 per year to pay for living expenses, course fees, bench fees and other additional research costs. The award also offers research opportunities, mentorship and a support grant.

More information »


Even if you're not eligible for any of these scholarships, don't give up. There are many other scholarships, grants and bursaries out there!

Jess Aszkenasy

WRITTEN BY Jess Aszkenasy

Alongside editing for Save the Student, Jess Aszkenasy has shared great tips on saving money related to meal planning, finding deals online and more. Based on first-hand experience of being an international student, she shared guidance on studying abroad.
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